Monday, December 16, 2013

X-periment, Mandarins, Tokyo Square Get Together

The Greatest Thing
 My Christmas Posting
Tony Fonseca: Tokyo Square
*There's a new world somewhere
They call the Promised Land
And I'll be there someday
If you will hold my hand.

I was thinking what I could post this Christmas season. Not another album from the West nor a Yuletide list of songs from the past.  Combing the vinyls in my little record cupboard I found an LP I had purchased not too long ago.

A group of late 60s and 70s Singapore musicians got together and recorded on Polygram ten songs in praise of God. It was, according to the sleeve back-cover, "a Gospel music adventure to spread His Word through a variety of popular music rhythms." It's no Christmas album but polished enough to be on that special list.  If you can find a copy around it's a great gift for someone on this special occasion.

Derek Danker: The Mandarins
This project together with the 5 locals had inspired 5 female singers who had, "never experienced the rigors of recording ... to lend their lovely voices" for the Lions Studio Polygram Singapore get-together.

This unique encounter had two (Matthew) Mandarins guitarists, two X-periment synthesiser, Fender Rhodes experts and a Tokyo Square percussionist to press songs by Dusty Springfield, Dion DiMucci, Mark Tendergrass and other pop composers from the West.

The result was a one-off gem of a vinyl piece called, He's The One. Wonderful Encounter (front sleeve cover below), by Derrick and Richard Danker, Mervyn and Dudley Nonis and Tony  Fonseka.  The female vocals included contributions from Wendy, Grace, Linda, Judith and Sharon.

Mervyn Nonis: The X'periment

It's a long, long, journey
So stay by my side
When I'll walk through the storm

You'll be my guide, be my guide.

A host of people helped in this project and would include Patrick Cheong, John Herbert and Eddie Seet from Polygram. Nearly twenty other people were involved and according to the sleeve that spoke, they thanked the "Lord for allowing it all to happen."

Finally the choice of songs. The tracks included the big hit, I'll Never Find Another You (New World Somewhere), The Greatest Thing, Welcome to the Family, Daddy others like Centre of My Life, I Put away my Idols, and an original by Mervyn (right), My Song to You (Jesus).
Image from:
As is always in local music folk-lore, Singapore 80s usually showcased the 60s and 70s. This recording was done in 1985. That's nearly 30 years ago.

It is a well-thought out and recorded piece.  Vocals by the ladies especially, New World Somewhere could have hit the top charts in the 60s.  Tracks by the guys were similarly well recorded with great voice quality but it would have been convenient for a reviewer if the singer's name was provided after each song for easy identification of artiste.

But if I should lose your love, dear
I don't know what I'd do
For I know I'll never find another you...

A Blessed Christmas to my friends, supporters and readers for a new and peaceful 2014.

Record Front Cover by Courtesy of Polygram Records.
*Lyrics by Tom Springfield: Seekers - I'll Never Find Another You
Images: Blogger's Collection. With thanks to Polygram Records.
Art Direction n Design: Patrick Low n Bernard Holmberg.
Photography: Henry Wong, Patrick Low.
Art Work: Vincent Ng, of Vin n Art.


Unknown said...


I would like to know who owns the copyright of The Trailers' "The Phoenix". I have checked with National Library, they mentioned that it was re-released by Joseph Pereira, so does he own the copyright?

Replies will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Let's hope a reader will provide you a satisfactory answer. I am not sure myself but isn't it true that only the record company or composer/artiste has the copyright unless it's been officially sold to another? Can anyone help Lin Lv with this information? Do write in.

MURPH3579 said...

Such talent! Somehow they should have kept singing and performing. But it was not meant to be.

JOHN HEALY said...


tokyosquarefan said...

One of the pioneering bands of Singapore , Tokyo Square was formed in 1985 by Max Surin. Together with his sister, Linda Elizabeth, the band had many local girls swooning after the boys, while Linda enthralled everyone with her powerful vocals. However, it was only with their no.1 hit radio song, "Within You'll Remain" with it's unique blend of Chinese & Western instrumentation, famous "Wo Ai Ni (I love you)" chorus and catchy gu-zheng opening riff, that made Tokyo Square the talk of the town. Now in it's 3 rd incarnation, Tokyo Square is still going strong with a new line up that includes Max's son, Adam. And still, the band is determined to "keep it real & stay true to Tokyo Square's blend of music". Tokyo Square is: Max Surin (Vocals) Linda Elizabeth (Vocals) Adam Surin (Bass) Mayuni Omar (Keyboards) Fazli (Drums).

Uploaded on Sep 14, 2010

JAMES KWOK said...



ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

You can read about MANDARINS and X-PERIMENT by clicking their names under Labels under the present posting.

CHONGYL said...

A blessed xmas to you and your family too. A more productive 2014???? with the many people interested in getting your help with their 'ventures'.

JAMES KWOK said...

Subject: REMEMBER THE 50's & THE 60's?

Really how wonderful and cool it is, to remember what the 1950's were like... and the music then also.

I think this will really thrill those of you who are in your 50's and 60's or even 70's..!!

Something for the folks of my generation.

A medley of nostalgic hits of the 50's & 60's, together with photos of the 50's, for your listening pleasure and a trip down memory lane:

The photos are mainly of the lifestyle of the 50's in USA but I am sure most of us can relate to them as we were already living in that culture then.

As for the younger ones, they may want to have a feel of what their parents refer to as "the good old days" were like!

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thank you all for the You Tube contribution. I have put them up temporarily on the right side-bar for everyone to enjoy.

LT said...

How are you? I hardly use emails except for my work email. I usually use whatsapp instead! Nothing much happening on my side, just that i have been quite busy with work. Look forward to seeing you...

JENN said...

Hi Andy, Just wanna wish you a very Merry Christmas and a ravishing New 2014. Will write more soon.

PC said...

Wish u good health and best wishes for this Christmas.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thank you all for good wishes. Have a great holiday.

IHOE said...

And happy Christmas to you, Andy, and thanks for keeping up this blog

Sent from my iPad.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Hi I,

Thank you very much. Coming from you it makes me wanna go on forever!

anonymous said...

andy,evening to you.How is bros John Teo getting on & also Douglas Tan,Lawrence Lum,Randy Lee Keng,merry christmas & happy new year in 2014 to u & them in a week time.Hope John Teo still in good in his guitar play along with organ,thanks.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thank you for the good wishes. I think they are all fine. I still meet Randy Lee when he comes around to Singapore from Jakarta. We keep in touch very often. He has a Facebook too.

Who are you? Please write in again.

JimmyChng said...

Dear Andy,

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your loved ones too.

Thank you for your wonderful blog as well.


ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thanks Jim for all the support these years.

Andrew Fleury said...

Hi Andy,
Mickey Olivero used to play the Hawaiian guitar with my dad's band - The Rangers (Harry Fleury). I took over and I think that I am the only Hawaiian guitarist in Singapore left. Mickey and my Dad were good buddies. Just reminiscing a little...

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Hi Mr Andrew Fleury,
Thank you for the information. Would be glad if you leave me your email (I won't publish it) so I could contact you about your playing the Hawaiian guitar. I am sure others would love to share your stories.

Please write on this same posting.

dino martin peters said...

Hey pallie, likes Mr. Andy, thanks for stoppin' by the ol' ilovedinomartin blog...sendin' you are bestest of best wishes with mucho Dino-seasonal cheer! Keeps lovin' our most beloved Dino!

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thanks DMP. Do keep in touch like always. Let's hope for a more peaceful Dino-2014 year. That's amore!


Thanks for your greetings... Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you too...

antuneze said...

For some reason this version of away in a manger calms me down and takes away my stress!

(From You Tube comment).

WILF said...

Merry Christmas & Blessings For the New Year

Wilfred & Evelyn.

"People will forget what you said; People will forget what you did.
But people will never forget how you made them feel.

ATURO said...



Allen Thompson said...

Dear Andy, I hope you and your family will enjoy a very happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year. Best wishes.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thank you all for the good wishes. Without your support this blog could never have been.

DANNY BOY said...

Wishing you and family Merry Christmas And A Happy New Year.

LKM said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and family. Keep your blog going.

Michael Goh said...

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to you & Family. Stay healthy & Keep in touch.

SPYEO PAUL said...

Hi Chief,
Merry Christmas ! Good Fortune, Good Health, Peace & Harmony To You & Family!

Sunny Low said...

A very Merry X'mas n a Happy New Year to you n family.

Zainal Abidin said...

Wishing you and your family a Blessed Christmas and a happy new year, from Zainal and family.

Bobby (d'Aquarians) said...

Hi Andy, thanks, wish u n your family a blessed Christmas filled with God's goodness.


Merry Christmas to u and your family. God bless.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thank you all for blessings.

EDWARD TAN JETS 60s said...

Merry Christmas to u n family n a HAPPY NEW YEAR. EDWARD.

S.WEE said...

Sama sama kawan. Merry xmas and happy new year.

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